This week we dive into Pinterest’s new privacy features, Xbox Music and Windows 8, Microsoft Surface, and LinkedIn Endorsements.
I. Mobile Payments– After another Atlanta festival, we follow up on Murder Kroger and Mobile Payments (Ep. 3)– Adventures in trying to pay with mobile while ducking under a funnel cake vendor’s oil vat to reach a power strip
II. Pinterest ups their privacy settings; stalkers wince
III. Microsoft launches Xbox Music, Windows 8, and announces the Microsoft Surface tablet: game changer or another “me too gadget”?
IV. M is crushing on Spotify–but will an upgrade to a Premium account put an end to the honeymoon? (stay tuned)
V. LinkedIn Endorsements – How it works (and why we don’t like it)
Tips on Tap:
1. Dolphin browser for mobile: A fun alternative to your smartphone or tablet’s native browser. Based heavily on gestures. An excellent free app for iOS and Android.
2. Standing desks, dimming your monitor, and other ways to not slowly kill yourself in an office environment. Ergonomics.
3. Emily tells you how to literally clear the air with your Mother-In-Law’s-Tongue…yes you read that correctly. (The best low maintenance, worker-friendly office plant.)
Emily and Melanie are embroiled with their technology this week:
The Death of the English Language?–
Is internet/text slang (tech-speak) destroying English as we know it, or is it part of a natural progression toward more efficient communication?
U decide who’s rite: Melanie Embracing Change or Crotchety Hoverboard Granny Em.
Google Shopping– Melanie sounds off on the degradation of Google Shopping. What’s worse– that Google Shopping replaced natural search results with paid ones, or the terrible excuse they’ve given for doing so? Why Etsy sellers and small businesses will lose.
The Notorious Apple Maps– Not since Antennagate has Apple made such a blunder in user experience. Get ready for a lot of u-turns.
Tips on Tap:
1. iPhone Texting Shortcuts
2. VoterHub – voter information and social network website and app
3. Gmail tip: Send mail as multiple non-Gmail email accounts without the pesky “On Behalf Of” giveaway.
Some Native Americans believe that humans store pain in our bones, that we carry the physical toll of our memories with us for life. I believe we store our entire lives and memories in our iPhones. The pain-body must live there, too.
My iPhone 4 is getting old, slowing down, it can’t handle everything I do fast enough. Thus, a fresh new phone is a fresh slate. Really, I am upgrading because I’m eligible and ready for a better, faster phone. But my soul will feel refreshed.
I don’t mind the new Lightning connector. The incompatibility with old models is a bit annoying, but I always bring my own charger anyway. Sure, Apple may have had this master plan all along so they could sell adapter cords and accessories, but at some point, all tech upgrades make old models obsolete. Plus, at least a year ago I spilled wine or pop in both of my Bose and iHome products. It is probably time to upgrade those so that I will no longer have to rubber band my iPhone to the dock at a certain angle to make it charge and play.
Am I on the upgrade treadmill? No: I use a five-year old MacBook Pro. And I waited patiently for the 5, skipping over the 4S. I deserve a fresh new phone and I got the 32GB version so I can continue to dangerously multitask and text-walk into fountains without sacrificing speed. And you can’t deny these improvements:
“Taller, thinner, and a metal back
As expected, the new iPhone is 18 percent thinner (0.30 inch vs. 0.37 inch thick) than the iPhone 4S. Apple says it’s the thinnest handset around, but that’s a race that changes often. That means it’s also 20 percent lighter for a total of 3.95 ounces. The Retina Display expands from 3.5 inches (its size since the original iPhone) to 4 inches. The total resolution remains the same, though, at 326 pixels per inch. The total pixel count is 1,136×640, and we now have a 16:9 aspect ratio.
The iPhone 5 will offer an A6 chip, which is two times faster than the current A5 chip. Graphics will get faster speeds… users will see Web pages load 2.1 times faster, and the Music app with songs will load 1.9 times faster.
4G LTE enabled
The iPhone 5 also fixes a design flaw that we first saw in the iPhone 4. Apple replaced the glass back with one that’s mostly metal. Too many people [Emily Binder] cracked an iPhone 4 or 4S after dropping it accidentally.”
(Here’s where I will recommend Bob Knows Phones in Atlanta for smartphone repairs. They fixed my cracked iPhone 4 screen in June in less than an hour for $100 with good customer service. Support local small business.)
“Smaller dock connector, smaller SIM card
On the bottom of the iPhone 5, there’s that new and long-anticipated smaller dock connector. [Called “Lightning,” it’s 80% smaller and reversible.]”
iPhone 5 pre-orders set a sales record last week, selling out in less than one hour following the smartphone’s September 12, 2012 debut. I ordered mine from AT&T. This two-part post will cover 1) my AT&T customer service experience and 2) why I upgraded to the iPhone 5.
AT&T iPhone Orders
How do I change my shipping address from my billing address? Many AT&T customers have been searching for answers about why you can’t ship your att.com or apple.com iPhone 5 order wherever you want. These sites offer free shipping to your account billing address only. This is supposedly to prevent fraud. (Oh how easily I could have committed fraud on my eventual call center order.) Online, the only way to request a shipping address different from your billing address is to actually change the billing address on your AT&T account. Not ideal. And if you can trick the system that easily, not sure how they are preventing fraud. Your other option (what I did) is to order by phone from AT&T. Shipping then goes up to $9.95.
Ambience: The call center on-hold song is a muzak version of “Fidelity” by Regina Spektor. The lyrics could be interpreted as reflecting on not taking risks in new relationships for fear of getting hurt, then wondering what could have been. This amused me; start playing the song as you read on so you can join me on the call.
Senseless upgrade fee: AT&T’s reasoning for a $36 upgrade fee on my contract eligible upgrade from iPhone4 to iPhone5 (while maintaining my same unlimited data plan) is that “they have to charge a fee in order to provide the phone discount.” Please. At least give me an excuse such as, “it covers the cost of internal processing for updating your line’s new capabilities such as 4G.”
Customer recognition and retention: The least the call center agent could do was to greet me with, “Hello Ms. Binder, thank you for being an AT&T customer since 2005, we appreciate your business” like my credit card company does. But the seven years of our relationship was unrecognized. Successful customer rewards clubs and frequent traveler programs and any company trying to engender loyalty through suggested exclusivity or recognition recognizes length of patronage as a basic given. (The best custsvc companies have a purple goldfish.) The loyalty years thank you is one sentence an agent can read from a prompt that can change the entire tone of the conversation for the better. Especially as a wireless provider, you better be thanking a customer who’s stuck with you for seven years, especially considering that you’re the main print yellow pages robber barons company.
This is why I keep one foot on the ground in our contracted affair; I hear Verizon’s voice in my head, I hear Sprint’s music serenading me, but still, AT&T, I pay you an extra $45.95 so you can “prevent fraud” and ship the phone to my office…
I never loved nobody fully Always one foot on the ground And by protecting my heart truly I got lost in the sounds I hear in my mind All these voices I hear in my mind all these words I hear in my mind all this music
And it breaks my heart…
Fidelity – Regina Spektor (AT&T’s call center hold music)
Check back for Part 2 of this post on Thursday 9/20/12.